Of course the hospital is appealing. The news report says the judge ruled the hospital "erred in its interpretation," which means the court's opinion is that the hospital screwed up and that gives the family ammunition in a subsequent lawsuit. No one in their right mind would accept that ruling if they know a future lawsuit is coming. Why do you think so many settlements do not include acceptance of wrongdoing. It's not a matter of liability from complying with the order, it's that the order establishes liability.
What is so irritating is the fact that the hospital appealing means that the body of Mrs. Munoz, and by extension the non viable fetus, will be kept in the limbo both have been in since November. This needs to end now, not months from now when the hospital has exhausted every avenue they can find. It is pathetic that they would even consider appealing since they were the ones saying that going to a court of law to get clarification of the law was something they agreed with. They have clarification now - they misinterpreted the letter of the law. Does it open them up to a lawsuit - you betcha. But, like everyone knows, there are consequences for everything. They should not be allowed to keep the cadaver, and by extension the non viable fetus, hostage just to escape the consequences for their decision and actions.
Of course there will be a bill. The staff has to be paid. The expendable supplies must be accounted for. The use of durable equipment must also be accounted for, especially why it wasn't used on another patient. Whether all or part of the bill is forgiven or discharged in bankruptcy or negotiated by an insurer is beside the point. The bill establishes what was done and issuing it is step one.
Yes, staff needs to be paid. Yes, supplies have to be accounted for. However, it was their
decision to ignore the wishes of the next of kin. Whether it was to cover their own ass or for other reasons that will never be made known doesn't matter at this point. They
made the decision, against the wishes of the next of kin, to keep a cadaver on machines to try and force the continuance of gestation even after having medical proof that the fetus was not going to be viable
. They should eat the cost.
Again, consequences for their decision, their actions. To bill the family and the family's insurance company is salt in the wound. Though, honestly, I suspect the insurance company would laugh at them and deny the claims. I mean, again, how do you claim a dead person is a patient and warrant the astronomical costs that came from keeping a cadaver on machines and IV's since November?